A Look At Windows Server 2008

Conclusion – Many Improvements, Still a Few Rough Spots

Microsoft has used the time since the release of Windows Server 2003 very well. The new Server Manager simplifies system administration immensely. Unlike Windows Vista, whose new dialogues still confuse even experienced users, Windows Server 2008 makes the admin feel right at home and in control.

Related tasks and service are grouped together, so that they can be found quickly and easily. Also, the system points out configuration problems at the beginning of an installation of a server task, preventing many rookie mistakes. Services started by mistake are easily identified and stopped, thanks to the new view. Also, the Event Viewer filters the entries in such a way that only relevant information is displayed.

However, it’s not all sunshine, either. Although our test system used a beefy Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 with generous 2 GB of RAM, the Server’s user interface felt sluggish with Windows being drawn very slowly. Most likely, this is due to lacking driver support – after all, the RC0 is still a work in progress.

Microsoft also gets low marks for failing to include SSH support into the operating system. On Linux servers, working without SSH is simply unthinkable. At least the Redmond company includes its encrypted remote shell WinRS. However, secure FTP is still a missing feature. The FTP client is being treated like an unloved stepchild, to the point where it is not even included in the Server Manager.